•  26
    In Memoriam
    Argumentation 33 (4): 459-463. 2019.
  •  1
    This collection of new essays presents cutting-edge research on the semantic conception of logic, the invariance criteria of logicality, grammaticality, and logical truth. Contributors explore the history of the semantic tradition, starting with Tarski, and its historical applications, while central criticisms of the tradition, and especially the use of invariance criteria to explain logicality, are revisited by the original participants in that debate. Other essays discuss more recent criticism…Read more
  •  574
    The Game of Belief
    Philosophical Review 129 (2): 211-249. 2020.
    It is plausible that there are epistemic reasons bearing on a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there are a range of practical reasons bearing on what to believe. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. Most significantly for our purposes, it is obscure how epistemic reasons and practical reasons might interact in the explanation of what one ought to believe. We draw an analogy with a similar distinction between types o…Read more
  •  271
    The Self-Effacement Gambit
    Res Philosophica 96 (2): 113-139. 2019.
    Philosophical arguments usually are and nearly always should be abductive. Across many areas, philosophers are starting to recognize that often the best we can do in theorizing some phenomena is put forward our best overall account of it, warts and all. This is especially true in esoteric areas like logic, aesthetics, mathematics, and morality where the data to be explained is often based in our stubborn intuitions. While this methodological shift is welcome, it's not without problems. Abductive…Read more
  •  8
    Expressivism Worth the Name
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (1): 1-7. 2015.
    No abstract.
  •  59
    Structuralist Neologicism†
    Philosophia Mathematica 28 (3): 296-316. 2020.
    Neofregeanism and structuralism are among the most promising recent approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. Yet both have serious costs. We develop a view, structuralist neologicism, which retains the central advantages of each while avoiding their more serious costs. The key to our approach is using arbitrary reference to explicate how mathematical terms, introduced by abstraction principles, refer. Focusing on numerical terms, this allows us to treat abstraction principles as implicit def…Read more
  •  477
    Against Reflective Equilibrium for Logical Theorizing
    Australasian Journal of Logic 16 (7): 319. 2019.
    I distinguish two ways of developing anti-exceptionalist approaches to logical revision. The first emphasizes comparing the theoretical virtuousness of developed bodies of logical theories, such as classical and intuitionistic logic. I'll call this whole theory comparison. The second attempts local repairs to problematic bits of our logical theories, such as dropping excluded middle to deal with intuitions about vagueness. I'll call this the piecemeal approach. I then briefly discuss a problem I…Read more
  •  221
    Moore’s paradox, the infamous felt bizarreness of sincerely uttering something of the form “I believe grass is green, but it ain’t”—has attracted a lot of attention since its original discovery (Moore 1942). It is often taken to be a paradox of belief—in the sense that the locus of the inconsistency is the beliefs of someone who so sincerely utters. This claim has been labeled as the priority thesis: If you have an explanation of why a putative content could not be coherently believed, you there…Read more
  •  286
    Footing the Cost (of Normative Subjectivism)
    In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy, Routledge. forthcoming.
    I defend normative subjectivism against the charge that believing in it undermines the functional role of normative judgment. In particular, I defend it against the claim that believing that our reasons change from context to context is problematic for our use of normative judgments. To do so, I distinguish two senses of normative universality and normative reasons---evaluative universality and reasons and ontic universality and reasons. The former captures how even subjectivists can evaluate th…Read more
  •  171
    Model Theory, Hume's Dictum, and the Priority of Ethical Theory
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4 419-440. 2017.
    It is regrettably common for theorists to attempt to characterize the Humean dictum that one can’t get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ just in broadly logical terms. We here address an important new class of such approaches which appeal to model-theoretic machinery. Our complaint about these recent attempts is that they interfere with substantive debates about the nature of the ethical. This problem, developed in detail for Daniel Singer’s and Gillian Russell and Greg Restall’s accounts of Hume’s dictum…Read more
  •  242
    Logical Partisanhood
    Philosophical Studies 176 (5): 1203-1224. 2019.
    A natural suggestion and increasingly popular account of how to revise our logical beliefs treats revision of logic analogously to the revision of scientific theories. I investigate this approach and argue that simple applications of abductive methodology to logic result in revision-cycles, developing a detailed case study of an actual dispute with this property. This is problematic if we take abductive methodology to provide justification for revising our logical framework. I then generalize th…Read more
  •  355
    Intertranslatability, Theoretical Equivalence, and Perversion
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (1): 58-68. 2018.
    I investigate syntactic notions of theoretical equivalence between logical theories and a recent objection thereto. I show that this recent criticism of syntactic accounts, as extensionally inadequate, is unwarranted by developing an account which is plausibly extensionally adequate and more philosophically motivated. This is important for recent anti-exceptionalist treatments of logic since syntactic accounts require less theoretical baggage than semantic accounts.
  •  140
    Emptying a Paradox of Ground
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4): 631-648. 2018.
    Sometimes a fact can play a role in a grounding explanation, but the particular content of that fact make no difference to the explanation—any fact would do in its place. I call these facts vacuous grounds. I show that applying the distinction between-vacuous grounds allows us to give a principled solution to Kit Fine and Stephen Kramer’s paradox of ground. This paradox shows that on minimal assumptions about grounding and minimal assumptions about logic, we can show that grounding is reflexive,…Read more
  •  190
    The Authority of Formality
    Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13. 2018.
    Etiquette and other merely formal normative standards like legality, honor, and rules of games are taken less seriously than they should be. While these standards are not intrinsically reason-providing in the way morality is often taken to be, they also play an important role in our practical lives: we collectively treat them as important for assessing the behavior of ourselves and others and as licensing particular forms of sanction for violations. This chapter develops a novel account of the n…Read more
  •  43
    Characterizing Invariance
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3 778-807. 2016.
    I argue that in order to apply the most common type of criteria for logicality, invariance criteria, to natural language, we need to consider both invariance of content—modeled by functions from contexts into extensions—and invariance of character—modeled, à la Kaplan, by functions from contexts of use into contents. Logical expressionsshould be invariant in both senses. If we do not require this, then old objections due to Timothy McCarthy and William Hanson, suitably modified, demonstrate tha…Read more
  •  282
    I argue that certain species of belief, such as mathematical, logical, and normative beliefs, are insulated from a form of Harman-style debunking argument whereas moral beliefs, the primary target of such arguments, are not. Harman-style arguments have been misunderstood as attempts to directly undermine our moral beliefs. They are rather best given as burden-shifting arguments, concluding that we need additional reasons to maintain our moral beliefs. If we understand them this way, then we can …Read more
  •  507
    Failures of Categoricity and Compositionality for Intuitionistic Disjunction
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (4): 281-291. 2012.
    I show that the model-theoretic meaning that can be read off the natural deduction rules for disjunction fails to have certain desirable properties. I use this result to argue against a modest form of inferentialism which uses natural deduction rules to fix model-theoretic truth-conditions for logical connectives.
  •  571
    How Expressivists Can and Should Explain Inconsistency
    with Derek Clayton Baker
    Ethics 125 (2): 391-424. 2015.
    Mark Schroeder has argued that all reasonable forms of inconsistency of attitude consist of having the same attitude type towards a pair of inconsistent contents (A-type inconsistency). We suggest that he is mistaken in this, offering a number of intuitive examples of pairs of distinct attitudes types with consistent contents which are intuitively inconsistent (B-type inconsistency). We further argue that, despite the virtues of Schroeder's elegant A-type expressivist semantics, B-type inconsist…Read more
  •  339
    Logical Indefinites
    Logique Et Analyse -- Special Issue Edited by Julien Murzi and Massimiliano Carrara 227. 2014.
    I argue that we can and should extend Tarski's model-theoretic criterion of logicality to cover indefinite expressions like Hilbert's ɛ operator, Russell's indefinite description operator η, and abstraction operators like 'the number of'. I draw on this extension to discuss the logical status of both abstraction operators and abstraction principles.
  •  81
    Assertion, denial, content, and (logical) form
    Synthese 193 (6): 1667-1680. 2016.
    I discuss Greg Restall’s attempt to generate an account of logical consequence from the incoherence of certain packages of assertions and denials. I take up his justification of the cut rule and argue that, in order to avoid counterexamples to cut, he needs, at least, to introduce a notion of logical form. I then suggest a few problems that will arise for his account if a notion of logical form is assumed. I close by sketching what I take to be the most natural minimal way of distinguishing cont…Read more
  •  1291
    Expressivism and Moore's Paradox
    Philosophers' Imprint 14 1-12. 2014.
    Expressivists explain the expression relation which obtains between sincere moral assertion and the conative or affective attitude thereby expressed by appeal to the relation which obtains between sincere assertion and belief. In fact, they often explicitly take the relation between moral assertion and their favored conative or affective attitude to be exactly the same as the relation between assertion and the belief thereby expressed. If this is correct, then we can use the identity of the expr…Read more
  •  1378
    The Frege-Geach Problem
    In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics, Routledge. pp. 226-242. 2017.
    This is an opinionated overview of the Frege-Geach problem, in both its historical and contemporary guises. Covers Higher-order Attitude approaches, Tree-tying, Gibbard-style solutions, and Schroeder's recent A-type expressivist solution.
  •  505
    Expressivism Worth the Name -- A reply to Teemu Toppinen
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1-7. 2015.
    I respond to an interesting objection to my 2014 argument against hermeneutic expressivism. I argue that even though Toppinen has identified an intriguing route for the expressivist to tread, the plausible developments of it would not fall to my argument anyways---as they do not make direct use of the parity thesis which claims that expression works the same way in the case of conative and cognitive attitudes. I close by sketching a few other problems plaguing such views.
  •  355
    The Normative Force of Promising
    Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6 77-101. 2016.
    Why do promises give rise to reasons? I consider a quadruple of possibilities which I think will not work, then sketch the explanation of the normativity of promising I find more plausible—that it is constitutive of the practice of promising that promise-breaking implies liability for blame and that we take liability for blame to be a bad thing. This effects a reduction of the normativity of promising to conventionalism about liability together with instrumental normativity and desire-based reas…Read more